Summer and Fall Repopulation Update

Friday, March 19, 2021, 3:15pm

TO: All Employees
FR: Karen Moranski, Interim Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs and Joyce Lopes, Vice President for Administration and Finance and Chief Financial Officer

The Continuity Planning Group is currently evaluating logistical considerations for repopulating our campus in the fall. We will be welcoming students back on campus and offering an increased number of in-person classes. With the return of our student population and services, we will also need to have our staff available to provide needed services and access. This is an update to share where we are in the process of repopulation planning. 

Guiding Principles
Earlier this month, managers were emailed and requested to complete a Return to Campus Department Needs Assessment for Fall 2021 for each member of their team. The Return to Campus Department Needs Assessment is intended to assess operational and institutional needs to adequately and effectively support in-person instruction and campus operations for the Fall 2021 semester. Repopulation priorities are identified as the following:

  • Approximately 45-55% of courses for each academic program will be held on campus;
  • Residential population of a minimum of 1,950 students and corresponding culinary services for the residential community;
  • Provision of both in-person and remote student support services, ensuring that students on campus have access to on-campus services;
  • Provision of both in-person and remote support services for faculty and staff, ensuring that employees on campus have access to on-campus services;
  • Provision of both in-person and remote campus activities, programming, recreation activities, club meetings, performances, etc.;
  • Provision of facilities for Intercollegiate Athletics to return to campus for in-person training, practice, and competition;
  • Ensure that campus leaders have a regular, in-person presence on campus.

Additionally, divisions will be setting guiding principles for their operations to ensure consistency and delivery of services in equity to our campus community.

Staff Needs Assessment

This Needs Assessment will be completed based on the operational needs of the department in order to support the on-campus instruction. Staff and administrators will be brought back to the extent needed to support on-campus operations in line with the guiding principles developed by the Repopulation Continuity Subgroup. Human Resources and Risk Management will be coordinating the review of these assessments and directly communicate with staff who are approved for return to on-campus work. Staff with questions about this process should reach out to their appropriate administrator. 

Faculty Return to In-person Instruction

Instructors with on-campus courses will be approved for on-campus work in their offices and teaching spaces as a part of the Fall 2021 academic scheduling. Faculty who are not teaching in-person (largely due to class size) but are conducting on-going research on campus and need workspace will be approved for on-campus work in their office and research spaces. Faculty who request to work from campus, but do not have in-person courses or on-going on campus research needs, will be asked to submit a request that will be reviewed by Academic Affairs. More information on this will be provided in the coming weeks. 

Employee Repopulation
Staff and faculty who are approved for on-campus work for the fall semester will be notified by Human Resources once the Needs Assessments have been reviewed and approved. Operational support will be available for employees from IT, Facilities Management, and Risk Management in coordination of repopulation activities to ensure a smooth and efficient transition to on-campus work. 

Building Openings
All campus buildings will be opening on a rolling basis starting June 7, with all buildings being open before the start of the fall semester. This will help to ensure our Facilities Management and Information Technology teams have ample time to prepare the buildings for occupancy in the fall. 

Open Forums
As a reminder, please join us at the Fall Repopulation Forums. These open forums will be hosted by members of the Continuity Planning Groups and supported by the Staff Council. Their purpose is to provide a space to discuss returning to campus in the fall, discuss concerns about COVID-19 and vaccinations, and discuss fall logistics. Faculty forums were held in the first part of March and will continue through March.

Forums for all Staff:
March 29, 12 - 1 pm
April 26, 4 - 5 pm

Forum for Managers:
April 20, 1 - 2 pm
Looking Forward
As mentioned, our formal repopulation plan will be available in the coming weeks for the community. Additionally, the repopulation plan will be shared with our labor partners in the coming weeks for discussion. As we look forward to the summer and fall semesters, we will continue to update the campus community on our plans. 

If you have any questions about this information, please feel free to contact

Stay safe and well, seawolves.